In Focus: Benzema wins Champions League top scorer race

Cian Cheesbrough
LiveScore
Karim Benzema finished at the top of the Champions League goalscoring chart
Karim Benzema finished at the top of the Champions League goalscoring chart

Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the Champions League final as Vinicius Junior scored the only goal of the game in Paris.

Karim Benzema went into the game as the competition's top hitman and took home the Golden Boot despite drawing a blank.

Karim Benzema, Real Madrid (15 goals, one assist)

Real talisman Benzema has been in scintillating form in the Champions League knockout phase, netting consecutive hat-tricks against both Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea before scoring in both legs against Manchester City.

Carlo Ancelotti's side were in serious danger of exiting this year's competition at the hands of PSG before their No9 took centre stage.

Down 2-0 on aggregate with less than half an hour to play, the Los Blancos striker burst into life, netting a brilliant hat-trick in just 17 minutes to seal a remarkable comeback win.

The 34-year-old then followed up that amazing display with another treble, this time at Stamford Bridge, to give the LaLiga champions a 3-1 lead after the first leg.

Benzema had never ended a Champions League season as top scorer before but finally took the crown as he lifted his fifth title.

Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich (13 goals, three assists)

Robert Lewandowski was unable to prevent Bayern Munich from being knocked out by Villarreal
Robert Lewandowski was unable to prevent Bayern Munich from being knocked out by Villarreal

A quarter-final defeat to Villarreal meant Bayern Munich stiker Lewandowski was unable to add to his tally but the Pole enjoyed another fine campaign in Europe's premier club competition.

The 33-year-old was the architect of the Bavarian's last-16 second-leg victory against FC Salzburg, firing a first-half hat-trick to set Julian Nagelsmann's men on course to a 7-1 victory on the night, 8-2 on aggregate.

That remarkable performance had installed the Bundesliga ace as the frontrunner to pick up a second Champions League top scorer gong.

But a 2-1 aggregate loss to the Yellow Submarine in the last eight ended his chances of adding to his 13 strikes.

Sebastien Haller, Ajax (11 goals, one assist)

Sebastien Haller enjoyed a record-breaking Champions League campaign
Sebastien Haller enjoyed a record-breaking Champions League campaign

Sebastien Haller’s maiden Champions League campaign was one to remember, but came to an end when Ajax suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Benfica in their last-16 second leg.

After netting 10 goals in six games in the group stage, Haller notched his 11th of the campaign in the 2-2 first-leg draw in Lisbon.

The Ivory Coast international became the quickest player in the competition's history to score 10 or more goals.

The 27-year-old also became only the second man — after Cristiano Ronaldo — to score in all six matches of a single group stage.

The ex-West Ham frontman will take many special memories from a record-breaking personal performance, but will unfortunately have to wait until next season to increase his goal tally.

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (eight goals, two assists)

Mohamed Salah failed to find the target in either leg of Liverpool's semi-final against Villarreal
Mohamed Salah failed to find the target in either leg of Liverpool's semi-final against Villarreal

Mohamed Salah was left frustrated after drawing a blank in both legs of Liverpool's semi-final against Villarreal and in the final.

The 29-year-old did get himself on the scoresheet in the last-16 first-leg win at Inter Milan having also bagged a match-winning double in a 3-2 success over Atletico Madrid in the group stage.

And his season ended in disappointment as Thibaut Courtois produced a stunning save to keep him out despite his best efforts in the showpiece.

Tags

Champions LeagueAjaxBayern MunichLiverpoolReal MadridMohamed SalahKarim BenzemaRobert Lewandowski
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